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Basel and Stockholm conventions Regional  Centres and FAO, UNEP regional offices

Basel and Stockholm conventions Regional Centres and FAO, UNEP regional offices

Basel and Stockholm conventions Regional  Centres and FAO, UNEP regional offices
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Basel Convention Regional and Coordinating Centres

Basel Convention Regional and Coordinating Centres

Basel Convention Regional and Coordinating Centres

The Basel Convention is the first global environmental agreement that has undertaken significant efforts to set up a network of Regional Centres. The BCRCs are uniquely positioned to steer regional efforts in hazardous waste management by linking global obligations with national development plans, and by integrating the environmentally sound management of hazardous waste into regional cooperation and development strategies.

The BCRCs have become the main instrument for enhancing the capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to implement the Strategic Plan for the implementation of the Basel Convention.

The BCRCs have also been involved in activities aimed at facilitating the implementation of other multilateral environmental agreements in the regions, such as the Rotterdam and the Stockholm Conventions. The Ad Hoc Joint Working Group on enhancing cooperation and coordination among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, has recognized that the coordinated use of the BCRCs by the three Conventions could help promote a life-cycle approach to the management of chemicals and wastes and strengthen capacity building efforts for the three Conventions.

In this context, a number of Basel Convention Regional Centres were nominated to be Stockholm Convention Regional Centres. The scope of activities of the BCRCs may therefore be widened, which represents an encouraging prospect and validating development for coordinated efforts in the management of chemicals and wastes.

Conscious of the need to address regional specificities and the need to facilitate the implementation of global issues at the regional level, countries foresaw the establishment of Basel Convention Regional and Coordinating Centres (BCRCs) at the time of the adoption of the Convention. In 1994, the Parties initiated the selection of the BCRCs. The first few years were dedicated to the institutional establishment of a growing number of Centres. Article 14 of the Convention addresses the issue of the establishment of the Centres to respond to the specific needs of the different regions in the world in terms of training and technology transfer for the minimization and environmentally sound management of hazardous and other wastes.

On several occasions, Parties reiterated the importance of the Centres in their assistance to implement the Basel Convention. In particular, reference is made to the 1999 “Basel Declaration on Environmentally Sound Management”. The Declaration recognized the need to further develop the Regional Centres as an efficient means to achieve the goals of environmentally sound management of hazardous and other wastes enshrined in the Basel Convention.

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The Basel Convention Regional and Coordinating Centres at a glance

The Basel Convention Regional and Coordinating Centres at a glance

The Basel Convention Regional and Coordinating Centres at a glance

The Basel Convention benefits from a network of fourteen Regional and Coordinating Centres for Capacity Building and Technology Transfer (BCRCs). The Basel Convention is unique in setting up a regional network of autonomous institutions which operates under the authority of the Conference of the Parties, the decision-making organ of the Convention, composed of all the countries party to the Convention.

The BCRCs deliver training, dissemination of information, consulting, awareness raising activities and technology transfer on matters relevant to the implementation of the Basel Convention and to the environmentally sound management of hazardous and other wastes in the countries they serve. The specific activities are training workshops, seminars, pilot projects on the management of priority waste streams, the production of information material and guidelines.

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Projects in Africa and West Asia

Year: 2008
The region has been host to a number of hazardous waste management and cleaner production projects sponsored by international and bilateral donors over the past decades. Nonetheless, the infrastructure for management of hazardous wastes - including legislation, administration and disposal - remains extremely patchy throughout the countries of the region. This would seem to argue strongly for a step-by-step approach that sets in place the basic information, as well as the legislative and administrative requirements before a comprehensive practical waste management strategy could be formulated.

Capacity Building for the Implementation of the Basel Convention

Core problem

Inadequate hazardous waste management in the Arabic speaking countries generates considerable public health and environmental problems, including contamination of soil and water. It also prevents the countries of the region from meeting their obligations under the Basel Convention. Therefore, the Centre should provide cost-effective and efficient means of assisting the countries in the region that do not have the resources and capabilities needed to implement effectively the provisions of the Basel Convention on their own.

Cause-effect relations

Environmental degradation and the effects on public health are the most direct consequences of the countries' difficulties in complying with the requirements of the Basel Convention. The problem underlying this difficulty is the inadequate hazardous waste management, which, in turn, has manifold intricately linked causes:

  • Inadequate legislation;
  • Incomplete administrative structures and mechanisms;
  • Lack of sufficient control procedures;
  • Fragmented wastes management strategies;
  • Incomplete (or no) hazardous wastes inventories;
  • Inability to treat hazardous wastes in an environmentally sound manner;
  • Weak technical capacity;
  • Insufficient manpower and training.

Needs

The region has been host to a number of hazardous waste management and cleaner production projects sponsored by international and bilateral donors over the past decades. Nonetheless, the infrastructure for management of hazardous wastes - including legislation, administration and disposal - remains extremely patchy throughout the countries of the region. This would seem to argue strongly for a step-by-step approach that sets in place the basic information, as well as the legislative and administrative requirements before a comprehensive practical waste management strategy could be formulated.

The main needs common to all countries of the region  - as identified in the feasibility study, country reports to the Secretariat of the Basel Convention, and reports available from the countries  - appear to be:

  • Joint assessment by the countries of the region of how the Centre could be best organised to meet regional and sub-regional needs;
  • Guidance in setting up hazardous waste criteria;
  • Pointers on efficient means for drawing up hazardous waste generation inventories and inventories of existing hazardous wastes disposal options and entering these into database systems;
  • Guidance in drafting legislation that transposes Basel Convention provisions into national law, in terms of both waste management and shipment requirements;
  • Assistance in developing documentation systems for hazardous wastes generation, transport and disposal;
  • Information exchange concerning best practice in managing various types of hazardous wastes; and
  • Information exchange regarding waste minimisation and cleaner production techniques.

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Year: 2008
The Basel Convention Regional Centre in Pretoria (BCRC) and the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KemI) plan a regional cooperation in Anglophone Africa to enhance chemicals management through the implementation of the Strategic Approach towards International Chemicals Management (SAICM), the Stockholm convention, the Rotterdam Convention and the Basel Convention.

Towards a non-toxic environment in Africa (KemI project)

The Basel Convention Regional Centre in Pretoria (BCRC) and the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KemI) plan a regional cooperation in Anglophone Africa to enhance chemicals management through the implementation of the Strategic Approach towards International Chemicals Management (SAICM), the Stockholm convention, the Rotterdam Convention and the Basel Convention.

An improved chemicals management will contribute to better health and a healthier environment. Important elements are development of regulatory frameworks and institutional capacity, awareness raising and investing in better processes. Moving from end of pipe solutions to prevention will also contribute to better economy and poverty reduction. 

With some initial funding from the Swedish Ministry of Sustainable Environment the two partners will develop and begin a initial baseline study/needs assessment of four countries. The result of the study will contribute to the larger project.

Africa participated effectively during the Strategic Approach towards International Chemicals Management (SAICM) process which led to its adoption by the world environmental ministers in February 2006 in Dubai, which proposed quick start up actions towards the International Chemicals Management. This approach was also endorsed at the recent 11th African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) meeting held in Congo Brazzaville from 22-26 May 2006 as a policy framework key to the realization of the 2020 Chemicals goal of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and called upon an all inclusive multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach. The African response towards SAICM implementation is articulated in the African plan for the implementation of SAICM. This plan sees challenges on how SAICM implementation can be raised as a priority issue at the national level, given the range of competing problems and issues facing most African countries. It also emphasizes the importance of defining how SAICM implementation activities can effectively support other programmes and objectives, recognising that managing chemicals is one component of broader national efforts to achieve environmental protection and sustainable industrial and agricultural development. Some of the key areas that have to be addressed are to demonstrate on how: SAICM can contribute to national efforts to promote pollution prevention and cleaner production, particularly within small and medium-sized enterprises.

  • decisions made in the context of SAICM implementation can have an impact on regional and international trade stronger management of chemicals positively might influence the country's international image and the market for its products
  • Improvements in chemical safety enhance the health and quality of life of its citizens.

This project seeks to contribute to the first steps for the implementation of the SAICM.

A regional approach in the capacity building to address chemicals and waste issues has been re-emphasized and articulated through the recent AMCEN XI meeting held in Congo Brazzaville in June 2006 which emphasizes through Decision 5(j), “To request international and regional partners to support efforts to strengthen the ability of the Basel Convention regional centres to undertake capacity-building for chemicals and hazardous waste management in related multilateral environmental agreements in Africa, in line with the objectives of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management and the environment initiative of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)”. At the Cairo African Regional SAICM meeting held from 11-17th Sept 2006, the Regional action plan was endorsed for implementation. Thus the KEMI/BCRC  project has adopted a regional approach in its activities.

Project documents:

 

 

Year: 2007

Demonstration of a regional approach to environmentally sound management of PCB liquid wastes and transformers and capacitors containing PCBs

Project documents: 

 

Year: 2006

 

La mise en œuvre effective de la Convention de Bâle pour une gestion écologiquement rationnelle des déchets dangereux, passe par une bonne maîtrise de la quantité et du type de déchets produits. Les pays africains francophones, à l’instar de nombreux pays en voie de développement ou à économie en transition, connaissent de nombreux problèmes environnementaux liés à la gestion des déchets.La gestion écologiquement rationnelle des déchets banals et des déchets dangereux en particulier, reste souvent un concept difficilement applicable du fait de la non maîtrise de leurs productions. En effet, il n’existe pratiquement aucun système de suivi de la production de déchets industriels par les producteurs et les autorités compétentes. Les quantités de déchets dangereux produites semblent croissantes avec pour corollaire des menaces réelles sur la santé humaine et environnementale.

Pour pallier cet état des lieux et permettre aux pays d’asseoir des bases claires pour la prise de décision stratégique en ce qui concerne la gestion des déchets dangereux, le Centre Régional de la Convention de Bâle pour les Pays Africains Francophones avait inclus dans son programme de travail la réalisation des inventaires nationaux des déchets dangereux dans trois pays.

Inventory of Hazardous Wastes in African French Speaking Countries

La mise en œuvre effective de la Convention de Bâle pour une gestion écologiquement rationnelle des déchets dangereux, passe par une bonne maîtrise de la quantité et du type de déchets produits.

Les pays africains francophones, à l’instar de nombreux pays en voie de développement ou à économie en transition, connaissent de nombreux problèmes environnementaux liés à la gestion des déchets.

La gestion écologiquement rationnelle des déchets banals et des déchets dangereux en particulier, reste souvent un concept difficilement applicable du fait de la non maîtrise de leurs productions.

En effet, il n’existe pratiquement aucun système de suivi de la production de déchets industriels par les producteurs et les autorités compétentes. Les quantités de déchets dangereux produites semblent croissantes avec pour corollaire des menaces réelles sur la santé humaine et environnementale.

Pour pallier cet état des lieux et permettre aux pays d’asseoir des bases claires pour la prise de décision stratégique en ce qui concerne la gestion des déchets dangereux, le Centre Régional de la Convention de Bâle pour les Pays Africains Francophones avait inclus dans son programme de travail la réalisation des inventaires nationaux des déchets dangereux dans trois pays. Ce programme du travail a été présenté lors de la sixième Conférence des Parties (COP 6) tenue à Genève en Décembre 2002.

Le projet inventaire a été adopté par la Conférence des Parties et inclus dans le Projet Document des activités du Centre pour l’année 2003-2004.

Trois pays ont été choisis en accord avec le Secrétariat de la Convention de Bâle en fonction de demandes faites par les pays couverts par le Centre. Il s’agit du Niger, de la Guinée Conakry et des Comores.

L’objectif principal du projet Inventaire est d’identifier les différentes sources de production des déchets dangereux au niveau national, répertorier de manière précise les quantités produites et permettre le suivi de ces déchets.

Ce projet comporte trois phases :

  • La formation des agents des structures concernées par la gestion des déchets dangereux aux techniques d’inventaire et à la construction et l’utilisation d’une base de données pour le suivi des flux de déchets. 
  • La réalisation des inventaires.
  • L’atelier de restitution pour disséminer les résultats de l’inventaire et il sera prétexte à la définition des projets prioritaires dans chaque pays pour la mise en œuvre effective des dispositions de la Convention de Bâle pour une gestion écologiquement rationnelle des déchets dangereux.

Project documents:

  • Rapport de formation sur les techniques d’inventaire et à l’utilisation d’une base de données pour le suivi des flux de déchets au Niger et en Guinée Conakry
  • Rapport d’avancement des activités Inventaire des Flux de Déchets Dangereux (three national reports included)

 

Year: 2006

The Cairo-BCRC as the implementing agent of the project “Preparation of a set of tools for the selection, design and operation of hazardous waste landfills in hyper-dry areas” funded under the Strategic Plan of the Basel Convention with the financial and technical support from the Secretariat of the Basel Convention; has the honor to release as an output of the project, a set of three guidelines entitled: 

  • Guidelines for hazardous waste landfill site selection and EIA in hyper-dry areas. 
  • Guidelines for hazardous waste landfill site design in hyper-dry areas, and 
  • Guidelines for hazardous waste landfill site operation, monitoring and aftercare in hyper-dry areas.

 

Preparation of a Set of Tools for the Selection, Design and Operation of Hazardous Waste Landfills in Hyper-dry Areas

Preparation of a Set of Tools for the Selection, Design and Operation of Hazardous Waste Landfills in Hyper-dry Areas

The Cairo-BCRC as the implementing agent of the project “Preparation of a set of tools for the selection, design and operation of hazardous waste landfills in hyper-dry areas” funded under the Strategic Plan of the Basel Convention with the financial and technical support from the Secretariat of the Basel Convention; has the honor to release as an output of the project, a set of three guidelines entitled: 

  • Guidelines for hazardous waste landfill site selection and EIA in hyper-dry areas. (Arabic, English)
  • Guidelines for hazardous waste landfill site design in hyper-dry areas (Arabic, English ), and 
  • Guidelines for hazardous waste landfill site operation, monitoring and aftercare in hyper-dry areas (Arabic, English).

These guidelines have been prepared with the overall objective of promoting principles and practices for environmentally sound management of hazardous waste in the Arab Countries. They address the specific, but widespread problem of hazardous waste and the need for their containment and disposal. They offer guidance on siteselection, EIA, design, operation, and monitoring of hazardous waste landfills in hyper-dry areas. They also warn against improvised disposal methods that may cause severe environmental and health problems, as the cost of mitigating the effects of irresponsible disposal can be many times higher than the cost of safe and environmentally sound disposal as recommended in these guidelines.

The guidelines are published in Arabic and English with easy to use indexing and/or relevant decision support charts. The guidelines are designed to be used by those who are engaged in careers that address hazardous wastes, such as landfill designers, engineers from the chemical and process industries, waste treatment system managers and designers, and public officials interested in waste management planning. They are also of interest to government departments responsible for hazardous waste management and chemical pollution control. The guidelines should be regarded as a further instrument to enhance implementation by the local agencies and municipalities, even though; the guidelines should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional and competent advisors.

Project Documents:

  • Terminal Report
  • Guidelines for Hazardous Waste Landfill Site Selection and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in Hyper-Arid Areas (Arabic, English)
  • Guidelines for Hazardous Waste Landfill Site Design in Hyper-Arid Areas (Arabic, English )
  • Guidelines for Hazardous Waste Landfill Site Operation, Monitoring and Aftercare in Hyper-Arid Areas. (Arabic, English)
  • Report of the Training Workshop on Waste Disposal by Landfilling in Hyper-arid Region, 26-28 November 2005, Manama, Bahrain
  • Glossary for Landfill Technical Expressions and Terms (Arabic / English)

 

Year: 2006
Components of the pilot project included a Pilot Study on Used Oils In Nigeria, the Preparation of a National Plan for Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) of Used Oils in Nigeria, the Organization of two Technical Workshops On Management Practices For Used Oils, a Feasibility Study, and the Establishment of a Template for Regional Used Oils. Partnership for Africa, and the development of a Regional Action Plan for the Management of Used Oils in Africa.

Management of Used Oils in Sub-saharan Africa

Need:

To establish a framework for environmentally sound management practices for used oils in order to protect the environment and human health in the regions of Africa.

Results:

Components of the pilot project included a Pilot Study on Used Oils In Nigeria, the Preparation of a National Plan for Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) of Used Oils in Nigeria, the Organization of two Technical Workshops On Management Practices For Used Oils, a Feasibility Study, and the Establishment of a Template for Regional Used Oils. Partnership for Africa, and the development of a Regional Action Plan for the Management of Used Oils in Africa.

Download the report:

Year: 2005
La réalisation de cette étude pilote au Sénégal permet de proposer un programme d’échantillonnage pour adapter le toolkit aux pays d’Afrique sub saharienne et de poser les jalons de sa réplication dans les autres pays polarisés par le Centre afin de documenter les pratiques endogènes sur les déchets de Bâle susceptibles de générer des dioxines et furannes et d’élaborer les outils de contrôle de ces émissions.

Identification des Déchets de Bâle Précurseurs de Dioxines en fonction des Pratiques de Gestion Endogènes

Ce rapport est produit par le Centre Régional de la Convention de Bâle pour les pays africains francophones dans le cadre du projet : "Inventaire des Sources de Dioxines en Afrique Sub saharienne".

Il fait partie d’une série de publications du Centre Régional qui a mis en œuvre entre 2004 et 2005 plusieurs projets dans les pays africains francophones en partenariat avec le Secrétariat de la Convention de Bâle et le Programme des Nations Unies pour l’Environnement. Ces projets ont porté entre autres sur l’inventaire des déchets dangereux (Comores, Guinée et Niger) et la problématique de l’amiante dans les véhicules de seconde main importés (Bénin, Sénégal).

L’étude qui a donné lieu à ce rapport est la première du genre que le Centre réalise et qui implique une collaboration étroite entre les Conventions de Bâle et de Stockholm. Elle constitue une réponse adéquate sur la nécessité de la mise en synergie des Conventions de Bâle et de Stockholm et de l’utilisation des centres régionaux comme un instrument pour ces deux Accords.

Ce rapport qui se propose de mettre en exergue ces pratiques, est articulé en trois parties :

  • La première est une présentation générale du contexte de l’étude avec une analyse du contexte macro-économique pour mieux appréhender les relations entre les secteurs formel et informel. 
  • La deuxième partie est une présentation des résultats de la phase enquête de terrain avec les visites et entretiens menés dans le secteur informel et le questionnaire administré aux industries.  Cette partie présente en détail la méthodologie de l’étude.
  • La troisième et dernière partie est la synthèse des résultats, la proposition d’un programme d’échantillonnage, les recommandations émises et les mesures à moyen terme proposées. Cette partie comprend un tableur des déchets de Bâle et de leur potentiel de générer des dioxines.

La réalisation de cette étude pilote au Sénégal permet de proposer un programme d’échantillonnage pour adapter le toolkit aux pays d’Afrique sub saharienne et de poser les jalons de sa réplication dans les autres pays polarisés par le Centre afin de documenter les pratiques endogènes sur les déchets de Bâle susceptibles de générer des dioxines et furannes et d’élaborer les outils de contrôle de ces émissions.

Télécharger le rapport:

 

Year: 2005
The Secretariat of the Basel Convention approved a grant for Nigeria to carry out a Pilot Project on the Assessment and Recycling of Used Oils in Africa. Components of the pilot project included the Preparation of a National Plan for Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) of Used Oils in Nigeria, the organization of two Technical Workshops on Management Practices for Used Oils, the Establishment of a Template for Regional Used Oils Partnership for Africa, and the Development of a Regional Action Plan for the Management of Used Oils in Africa.

Assessment and Recycling of Used Oil in Africa

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste and their disposal, provides in article 14 for establishment of the Regional Centres. The main goal of the Basel Convention Regional Centres (BCRCs) is to strengthen the capacity of countries of the region for the implementation of the Basel Convention and its amendments. Article 14 stipulates that “according to the specific needs of different regions and subregions, regional or sub-regional centres for training and technology transfer regarding the management of hazardous wastes and other wastes and the minimisation of their generation should be established”.

Towards the end, the Secretariat of the Basel Convention approved a grant for Nigeria to carry out a Pilot Project on the Assessment and Recycling of Used Oils in Africa. Components of the pilot project included the Preparation of a National Plan for Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) of Used Oils in Nigeria, the organization of two Technical Workshops on Management Practices for Used Oils, the Establishment of a Template for Regional Used Oils Partnership for Africa, and the Development of a Regional Action Plan for the Management of Used Oils in Africa.

The Final Regional Workshop for the Development of a Regional Action Plan on Environmentally Sound Management of Used Oils in Africa, organized by the Basel Convention Regional Coordinating Centre for Africa (BCCC-Nigeria) Ibadan, Nigeria, was held from 6-7 December, 2004 at the Federal Ministry of Environment, Surulere Offices, Lagos, Nigeria.

These proceedings from the workshop contain the introduction to the project, the workshop agenda, the list of participants, the presentations made by country representatives, United Nations/Multilateral Agencies as well as other invited speakers. Annex 1 contains Draft Template of the Elements of a National Action Plan On Waste Oil Management in Africa with primary focus on Poverty Alleviation, Job Creation and Environmental Protection. It is envisaged that this National template will be tested in the various pilot countries under the supervision of the Basel Convention Regional Centres in Africa. The results of these will be presented at a regional workshop to be convened by the Basel Convention Regional Coordinating Centre for Africa where a consensus regional action plan would be developed and adopted. The Workshop Communique is the concluding part of the proceedings.

Project documents:

 

Year: 2005
At the third meeting of the Expert Group on best available techniques (BAT) and best environmental practices (BEP) in Tokyo in October 2004, UNEP Chemicals foreshadowed a series of regional consultations on the draft guidance to assist countries prepare for the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Stockholm Convention (COP-1) to be held in May of 2005. It was considered that successful COP consideration, and subsequent use of the guidelines, would depend on participants’ understanding of the issues. It was important also that the guidance be representative of all regions.

Overview and Summary of Outcomes from the Regional Consultations on the Draft Guidelines on BAT and BEP relevant to Article 5 and Annex C of the Stockholm Convention

Overview and Summary of Outcomes from the Regional Consultations on the Draft Guidelines on BAT and BEP relevant to Article 5 and Annex C of the Stockholm Convention

At the third meeting of the Expert Group on best available techniques (BAT) and best environmental practices (BEP) in Tokyo in October 2004, UNEP Chemicals foreshadowed a series of regional consultations on the draft guidance to assist countries prepare for the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Stockholm Convention (COP-1) to be held in May of 2005. It was considered that successful COP consideration, and subsequent use of the guidelines, would depend on participants’ understanding of the issues. It was important also that the guidance be representative of all regions.

The schedule of the consultations was as follows:

  • 9-11 February 2005; For the Central and Eastern European region; Vienna, Austria.
  • 2-4 March 2005; For the Asia Pacific region; Wellington, New Zealand.
  • 7-9 March 2005; For the Central and South East Asia region; Bangkok, Thailand.
  • 14-16 March 2005; For the GRULAC region; Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • 21-23 March 2005; For the West Asia region; Manama, Bahrain.
  • 11-13 April 2005; For the Africa region; Nairobi, Kenya.

The objectives of the consultations were:

  • to inform countries of all aspects of the draft guidelines;
  • to identify where further guidance was needed to reflect regional needs;
  • and to help prepare countries for COP-1 discussions relating to the possible adoption of and further work on the guidelines.

The term “consultation” rather than “workshop” was used to make clear that these were not training sessions – UNEP was seeking informatio n from the regions, as well as providing them with information.

 Download the workshop report: